Thursday, March 01, 2012

Going and Coming

February is over. Even though it is the shortest month by number of days, it certainly almost always seems to take the longest to pass. February is also usually when the teaching doldrums set in for me. This year was no exception, and I think it hit me even harder because of this goofy weather. It is March 1st as I write this and the only weather-related change we have had was a 2-hour delay on our first day back from Christmas Break. Last year at this point we had missed either 6 or 7 days due to weather (we ended up missing 8 days).

In spite of being in school more days and not having lost instruction days due to semester exams, I am about 2 weeks behind where I was last year. Part of it is due to the amount of review I have had to do with this group of students. Part of it is due to having to teach factoring from scratch. But I also wonder if part of it is due to the additional quizzing I'm doing. I really wonder that last part with my Advanced Algebra 2 students. I am over 3 weeks behind with them once I factor in that I didn't do matrices with them. I have polynomials, rational expressions/functions, radical expressions/functions, and exponentials/logarithms to do with them and I don't think we'll have enough time. After talking to the Pre-Calc teacher, I think I'm going to postpone polynomials. Of the remaining topics, it is the one I am most certain that the Pre-Calc teacher will go into more depth with them.

As the year is headed towards the end, I am a little apprehensive about our switch to the Common Core. We have been told we are to be teaching Common Core next school year. Although I am certain that next year's Algebra 2 students will have a stronger Algebra 1 foundation, since this year's Algebra 1 students weren't taught under Common Core, it will be a bit of a challenge to make the full leap to Common Core. Having said that, I do think we'll be able to get a decent start into Common Core. I have to look at Algebra 2 more in depth, but at first glance, it appears that all linear and some quadratic material has been taken out of Algebra 2 and put into Algebra 1 (or in some cases, 8th grade). My present thought is that I will end up starting with quadratics and try to fill in the gaps along the way. We'll have to see how things develop....

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